The father accused of murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters has pleaded guilty for the first time after reaching a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.
Christopher Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body during a court hearing in Colorado on Tuesday.
The body of 34-year-old Shanann Watts was found in a shallow grave on the property of a Colorado oil and gas company in August, whilst the couple’s daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3 were found in nearby oil tanks.
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Shannan was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.
Breaking – Chris Watts to take a plea deal to killing his pregnant wife and two daughters. pic.twitter.com/hWcNQyipVH
— Matt Mauro (@mattmauronews) November 6, 2018
Watts initially faced the possibility of the death penalty, however with the agreement of the victims’ family, the District Attorney “eliminated the death penalty from consideration in exchange for pleading guilty to all nine counts.”
“I can only say that I hope there is a sense of closure,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said following the hearing.
“I know that will never be fully realized because, obviously, the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four beautiful lives.”
Watts will be sentenced on November 19 and is facing life in prison.
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) November 6, 2018